Upcoming events in the St. Louis Jewish community

  • Updated

Note: Addresses of locations in the calendar are compiled at the bottom of the page. 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Center for Jewish Learning, JCRC plan ‘Two Wars, Demography, and Israel’s Elections’: The Center for Jewish Learning and Jewish Community Relations Council will present a talk by Professor Dan Ben-David on “Two Wars, Demography and Israel’s Elections” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21 at the Kaplan Feldman Complex. 

Ben-David founded and heads the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research and is a senior faculty member at Tel-Aviv University. In his talk, he will analyze the outcomes and implications of last year’s Israeli elections from a long- term perspective. He will also examine how the evolution of Israel’s political scene helps explain the significant pivot in national priorities away from Israel’s key socioeconomic infrastructures such as education, transportation and health. CJL will take reservations at JFedSTL.org/events/two-wars/. Questions and more information to Kathy Schmeltz at kschmeltz@fedstl.org or 314-442-3761.

The J plans Winter Used Book Sale in February: The Jewish Community Center will hold its Winter Used Book Sale Feb. 2-6 at the J’s Arts & Education Building. The sale will start with a Preview Day on Sunday, Jan 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preview Day is the only day with an admission charge ($10 at the door). Line tickets sales begin at 9 a.m. Sunday; doors open 10. 

The sale continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday, Jan. 27-29. The sale closes on Thursday, Jan. 30 with Bag Day (guests can fill a bag for $5), from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Books are priced from 50 cents to $3. Special books—collectibles, art books, antique books—are priced as marked. For more information about the sale, contact Zelda Sparks at 314-442-3169.

Tryouts for JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest: The St. Louis JCC Maccabi Delegation is now recruiting athletes ages 13 to 16, and artists ages 13 to 17, to compete in more than a dozen sporting events and arts specialties next summer. St. Louis will be participating in the 2020 JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in San Diego. The Games run from Aug. 2 to 7. Team sport tryouts and parent information meetings will be held on Sun., Jan. 26 at the J’s Marilyn Fox Building in Chesterfield. In order to join either baseball, basketball, soccer or volleyball, athletes must go through the tryout process. 

While tryouts for other sports have not yet been scheduled, participants for all Maccabi events are required to pre-register and attend an information meeting. Registration is available online at www.jccstl.com/maccabi. For further information, contact Craig Neuman at cneuman@jccstl.org or call 314-442-3434.


Friday | Jan. 17

“Mama Mia”  at Mirowitz Center: From 1 to 3 p.m. the Mirowitz Center at Covenant Place will screen “Mama Mia,” the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father, told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. It stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried. No registration or cost to attend. Popcorn is complimentary, and additional movie refreshments are $1.


Saturday | Jan. 18

Shabbat book discussion: Join Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community at 10 a.m. at the J for a discussion of “In the Kingdom of Chance,” the second selection in Adam Kirsch’s “The People and the Books.” In this chapter, Kirsch examines the “Book of Esther” with its themes that are central to Jewish history, the precariousness of Jewish life in the Diaspora and the accommodations Jews must make to survive as an often-suspect minority. The discussion will be led by Shir Hadash member Stan Vriezelaar. All are welcome. You do not have to read the chapter in advance to attend and participate.  Copies will be available at the program. Shir Hadash meets at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex Arts & Education Building (upper level). RSVP to Carol, stlshirhadash@gmail.com.  For more information, visit www.shirhadashstl.info

NHBZ discusses the spiritual side of winter: Winter may bring thoughts of grey, gloomy days, but its slower pace and longer evenings make it an ideal time for uplifting spiritual growth and reflection. Learn how to warm up to winter when NHBZ Rabbi Ze’ev Smason discusses “The Surprising Spiritual Side of Winter” at 10:15 a.m. This talk is part of NHBZ’s weekly series “Starting Points: Wisdom for Daily Living,” which is free and open to the community. For more information, call 314-991-2100, ext. 2.


Sunday | Jan. 19

Jewish War Veterans meeting: Jewish War Veterans Post 644 will meet at 10 a.m. at Federation’s Kaplan Feldman Complex (Room 217). There will be a special presentation by Kick Nickens, President of Fisher House, Jefferson Barracks. Bagels and coffee will be served. Members are encouraged to bring a Jewish relative or friend who has served on active duty or in the reserves. For more information, contact Post 644 Commander Edwin R. Cohen at 636-536-3818 or Vice Commander Ellis Frohman at 636-519-7512.


Tuesday | Jan. 21

Join NCJW in Jefferson City: National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis will head to Jefferson City for the 2020 human trafficking lobby day. The trip will depart from NCJW at 7 a.m. and return by 5 p.m. RSVP to Judy at jfreeman@ncjwstl.org or 314-993-5181.NCJW is committed to being in the Capitol every week this legislative session (January to May) to make change. If you want to participate, contact Jen Bernstein at 314-993-5181 or jbernstein@ncjwstl.org for more information. Your voice is needed to help advocate for policies that improve the lives of women children and families.


Wednesday | Jan. 22

YPD event with Lindy Drew: Join YPD & Humans of St. Louis at Jewish Federation of St. Louis for an interactive evening and dinner to learn about diversity and inclusion through the art of storytelling with Humans of St. Louis co-founder Lindy Drew, and walk away with a new lens on the world. Together, we will recognize our assumptions and reframe our perspective. RSVP at JFedSTL.org/YPD-HOSTL. Spots are limited.


STARTING | Jan. 22

Crown Center and OASIS gentle chair yoga: Gentle yoga postures are designed to relieve pain and improve balance. This class meets Jan. 22 through March 4 at 10 a.m. and is perfect for beginners and those that have experienced this special class. Call 314-991-2055 for cost information and to register. At Crown Center. 


Thursday | Jan. 23

Kol Rinah and B’nai Amoona book club: The club meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and discusses books by Jewish authors or with Jewish content. The group meets at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters on the fourth Thursday of each month to discuss books. This month’s book is  “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb. The class is free. For information, contact Betty Siegel at 314-991-0709.

NCJW lunch & learn: Many of National Council of Jewish Women’s core issues are now at the forefront. During this month’s lunch and learn, find out about “Labor Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight” at the NCJW offices. Participants should bring a lunch. Guests can start arriving at 11:30 a.m., and speakers will begin at noon. Free and open to the community but RSVP requested to Judy at 314-993-5181 or jfreeman@ncjwstl.org

“Sideways” at Mirowitz Center: In “Sideways,” from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Mirowitz Center, two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. It stars Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen. No registration or cost to attend. Popcorn is complimentary, and additional movie refreshments are $1. 


STARTING | Jan. 23

New Jewish Theatre presents ‘My Name is Asher Lev’: The New Jewish Theatre’s next production, “My Name is Asher Lev,” tells the coming-of-age story of a young prodigy in post-war Brooklyn, who must pursue his art at any cost – against the will of family, community and tradition. The drama, by Aaron Posner, is adapted from the novel of Chaim Potok, an American author and rabbi. “My Name is Asher Lev” runs Jan. 23- Feb. 9 at The J’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Individual tickets are $47-$54, available by phone at 314-442-3283, or online at www.newjewishtheatre.org.

Cafe Ivrit at Kol Rinah: Have you ever wanted to learn more about Israel, current events, culture  and life? Want to speak a little Hebrew and hang out with our amazing Shin Shinit, Shaked? Then Cafe lvrit (the Hebrew Cafe) is the place for you. Join Shaked every other Thursday for learning, good conversation and community, altogether in the center of Kol Rinah. Café Ivrit takes place at 7 p.m. on the following Thursdays: Jan. 23; Feb. 6 and 20; March 5 and 19; April 2 and 30; May 14. Call or email Nancy to RSVP: nancy@kolrinahstl.org or 314-727-1747. 


Friday | Jan. 24

Yiddish in the USA from 1890 to today: The Mirowitz Center is now hosting programs from Washington University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The class takes place from 1 to 2:15 p.m. To register for these programs, call the OLLI office at 314-935-4237 or go to osher.wustl.edu. Programs are free to OLLI members and $10 to new members. Two main groups of Yiddish speakers — the Hasidim and the secular — were buffeted by forces of history and culture. Hassidic Yiddish is spoken by hundreds of thousands of Jews and the number is growing, while secular Yiddish is battling to survive. Why is this? Come join instructor Arnie Kaplan on a journey to Yiddishland and Fiddler Afn Dach. 

Film screens at Mirowitz Center: See “Book Club” from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Mirowitz Center at Covenant Place. Four lifelong friends have their lives forever changed after reading “50 Shades of Grey” in their monthly book club. It stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen. No registration or cost to attend. Popcorn is complimentary, and additional movie refreshments are $1. 

Prayer lab — A mindful Shabbat experience: Prayer Lab is a non-traditional Shabbat evening service combining contemporary readings and poetry, participatory music, time set aside for meditation and more. Theme’s change from month to month. This month’s theme is surrender. Worshippers are encouraged to come with open minds and open hearts.  Prayer Lab is led by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Lucy Greenbaum and musicians and sponsored by the Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis and Congregation Shaare Emeth.  The program begins at 6 p.m., at Shaare Emeth. All are welcome.  RSVP by Jan. 17 at mindfulness.sestl.org/prayerlab.


STARTING | Jan. 24

Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat planned at Bais Abraham: On Jan. 24 and 25, Bais Abraham Congregation hosts Michael A. Helfand, associate dean for faculty and research and professor of law, Caruso School of Law, Pepperdine University. He is an expert on religious law and religious liberty, with a particular emphasis on clashes between religion and commerce. 

Friday night services begin at 4:55, with dinner and talk to follow; Saturday talk will be at approximately 12:30 p.m. following services.

Helfand’s Friday night talk is titled: “The Mohel, the Baker and the Eruv-Maker: What Does Religious Discrimination Look Like.” Dinner is $15/adult, $10/student, $10/child (under 12 years), $50 family limit. Sign up on the website at www.baisabe.com or by contacting the synagogue office at 314-721-3030 The deadline to register for the dinner is Jan. 21.

On Saturday, the synagogue hosts a Shabbat Lunch and Learn titled, “From Torture to Contract: How the ‘Jewish Prenup’ Works.” There is no cost to attend the lunch and learn.


Saturday | Jan. 25

NHBZ Synaplex Shabbat & Lunch: The effects of anti-Semitism yesterday and today are the themes of Nusach Hari’s next Synaplex Shabbat. Regular services begin at 8:30 a.m. in the main sanctuary. A Learners Service led by Rabbi Yosef David of Aish HaTorah begins at 9:15 a.m. in the chapel. Rabbi Ze’ev Smason’s  Starting Points topic is “Humor: Laughing When You Need It Most” which starts at 10 a.m. Children’s programming is offered at 10 a.m., including Tot Shabbat for ages 1-6, and Junior Congregation for ages 7 and older. Babysitting is provided for younger children. Then, join one of these discussions with guest speakers at 11:30 am:  

• “Winning Hearts and Minds of College Campus” led by Nadav Alkoby, Midwest Campus Coordinator at ZOA Campus 

• “Yeshiva in Shanghai” led by Rabbi Yosef Landa, Director of Chabad of St. Louis

There will be a free Kiddush lunch for all at 12:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, call Jeff at 314-991-2100, ext. 2.


Sunday | Jan. 26

Kodner Gallery presents ‘Trash or Treasure’ at Mirowitz Center: Modeled after PBS’ popular “Antiques Roadshow,” the community is invited to bring a maximum of two items from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to be appraised at the Kaplan Feldman Complex. Art consultants, appraisers and buyers and sellers of fine art from the Kodner Gallery will review and appraise the items. Accepted categories of items to bring are art, general collectibles, porcelain/ceramics/pottery/glass, books/manuscripts and jewelry/silver. The cost is $20 for the first item and $10 for the second item. Reservations are required: call 314-733-9813. All proceeds will benefit the Mirowitz Center, which provides health services, resources, entertainment, friends, food and learning to seniors in the Jewish  community.

HMLC film series screens ‘Who Will Write Our History’: See related news brief on page 5. 


Monday | Jan. 27

Wii Brain Games: Play Jeopardy and exercise your brain with St. Louis NORC neighbors, held from 1 to 2 p.m. on the fourth Monday each month through February at The Gathering Place at the J’s Arts & Education Building. Free and open to the community but RSVP requested to Laura at 314-442-3255.


Wednesday | Jan. 29

Chabad plans course on ‘Judaism’s Gifts to the World’: See related news brief on page 6. 


Thursday | Jan. 30

JProStl to present honors at annual luncheon on Jan. 30: Ten professionals have been chosen as honorees for the Annual JProStl Recognition Luncheon, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex. Fawn Chapel of the Jewish Community Relations Council will receive the Visionary Award. Others selected to receive JProStl Peer Awards include: 

  • Career Achievement: Lori Wishne (Jewish Federation)
  • Chesed/Kindness — Amy Neuman (Crown Center)
  • Dedication — Vicki Shuchart (B’nai Amoona)
  • Emerging Leader — Rabbi Josh Bregman (Missouri Torah Institute)
  • Educator – Betti Blumoff (Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School) and Roz Hirschorn (Epstein Hebrew Academy)
  • Mentor – Lisa Marucci (The J)
  • Pillar – Cori Neidenberg (United Hebrew) 

Marilyn Ratkin has been chosen as the recipient of the JProStl Partnership award.

The luncheon is $30 for guests and free of charge for staff who work at least 20 hours per week annually at a Jewish organization. To register and to donate to professional development in honor of the recipients, go to www.jfedstl.org/luncheon

Mirowitz Center screens ‘Life of Pi’: At 1 p.m., the Mirowitz Center will screen “Life of Pi,” a 2012 film about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger. The PG-rated adventure stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain. No registration or cost to attend. Popcorn is complimentary, and additional movie refreshments are $1. 


FrIday | Jan. 31

Mirowitz Center screens ‘Chicago’: Two death-row murderesses develop a fierce rivalry while competing for publicity, celebrity, and a sleazy lawyer’s attention in the 2002 musical film “Chicago,” to be screened from 1 to 3 p.m. The film stars Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. No registration or cost to attend. Popcorn is complimentary, and additional movie refreshments are $1.


ONGOING

Saturday morning service, Torah discussion at Neve Shalom: Join congregation members and spiritual leader Will Soll every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon at Neve Shalom, a warm and welcoming Jewish Renewal synagogue located in the CHAI Apartments Building of the Covenant Place campus. A brief Shabbat morning service is followed by a lively and relevant discussion of the weekly Torah portion.  Directions: Go to the very back of the J campus, turn right down the steep hill, and follow the sign for Neve Shalom. For more information call 314-708-8711.

Weekly inspirational brunch for women in Chesterfield: Chabad of Chesterfield hosts an ongoing weekly brunch and learn, called Torah and Tea, for local women. Torah and Tea is held on Thursdays from 11:30 to 12:15 at a private home in Chesterfield. Torah and Tea is lead by Chanala Rubenfeld who shares a weekly inspirational, meaningful and practical life message based on Torah thoughts along with brunch, tea and pastries. All women are invited to attend to learn, eat and kibbitz with new and old friends. For more information and for address information please visit: www.ChabadOfChesterfield.com or call 636-778-4000.

Torah study at Crown Center with Bais Abraham rabbi: Join Crown Center at 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays for Torah study with Rabbi Garth Silberstein of Bais Abraham Congregation. Silberstein will lead a discussion of the weekly Torah portion. Free and open to the community. Call 314-991-2055 for more information.  

Mirowitz Center ongoing classes: At http://bit.ly/Mirowitz-Center-form, view and sign up for classes and events coming soon. Movies do not require registration. For more information call 314-432-1610. All programs take place in the Mirowitz Center in the Covenant Place II Cahn Family Building.

  • Maxine Mirowitz leads Chair Yoga at 11 a.m. Fridays and Chair Power Yoga at 3:15 p.m. on Thursdays. 
  • RPI physical therapists lead Tai Chi at 11:15 a.m. Mondays and 11 a.m. Thursdays.
  • Community Singers, led by Robert Denison, Wednesdays 1 to 2 p.m. 
  • Charlie Foxman leads Balance & Bands, a class focusing on movement and balance for all levels at 11 a.m. Wednesdays.
  • Knit-Wits group, led by Jerri Livingston, meets Tuesdays 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. 
  • Balance Barre by Vitality Senior Ballet on Wednesdays, 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Get Your Game On, Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tables are available for groups on first-come, first-served basis. 
  • The Rabbi Is In meets the second Wednesday of every month, led by JF&CS Community Chaplain Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael. 
  • Movies at Mirowitz — 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Free.

St. Louis NORC classes: On Tuesdays, St. Louis NORC offers a chair yoga class from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The class, led by J instructor Nancy LeClaire, focuses on flexibility, balance, stress relief and camaraderie. Call Laura for details, location and cost: 314-442-3255. The NORC will also offer a current events discussion group on Tuesdays  from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., in The Gathering Place at the J. In addition, every Tuesday from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., the NORC Knit Group is collaborating with Covenant Place to meet for a weekly knit group.  Enjoy socializing, knitting, crocheting, crafting and receiving instruction from volunteer knit expert, Jerri Livingston on Tuesdays at 1:15 pm in the Covenant II building. Every fourth Monday, enjoy Wii Brain Games with NORC neighbors from 1 to 2 p.m. at The Gathering Place.

Mindfulness meditation sits: Almost every Wednesday evening throughout the year, the Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis offers a meditation sit from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Sessions are appropriate for beginning and advanced practitioners. Each sit begins with a short teaching focusing on the week’s Torah portion, an upcoming holiday or a particular middah (Jewish value or ethical personality trait). All are welcome to these free community sessions. No RSVP necessary. The Jewish Mindfulness Center is located at Congregation Shaare Emeth. 

B’nai Amoona ongoing adult education offerings 

  • Torah for today: On Shabbat at at 10:15 a.m., B’nai Amoona rabbis lead discussion on the weekly Torah reading of our most sacred and ancient text. We seek to apply the relevant lessons of Torah to our lives today.
  • Torah at twilight: Time changes monthly based on sunset. Shabbat afternoon study, between Minchah and Ma’ariv. Time changes monthly based on sunset; check the B’nai Amoon calendar for times.
  • A thinking person’s Judaism: This weekly text study and interactive discussion with Rabbi Neal Rose on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. focuses on timely, contemporary issues facing Jews and Judaism in the Post-Modern Era. RSVP at http://bit.ly/BA-class1.
  • Introduction to Judaism: This interactive course with Rabbi Neal Rose on Sundays from 2 to 3:30 p.m., explores Jewish history, practice, texts, and culture. It is designed for anyone who seeks to live a richer Jewish life, including those contemplating conversion to Judaism. Free. RSVP at http://bit.ly/BA-class2.
  • Comparative Religions: An Exploration of Faiths: On Wednesdays 10 to 11:30 a.m., join Rabbi Neal Rose to explore, in conversation and discussion, different faiths, beliefs and traditions. The class will include guest teachers, speakers, spiritual leaders and special guests. $50 for the year. RSVP at http://bit.ly/BA-class3.
  • Yiddish for beginners: On Thursdays from 10-11 a.m., students will learn basic Yiddish vocabulary words for basic conversation. The class led by Rabbi Neal Rose costs $18 for the year. RSVP at http://bit.ly/BA-class4.
  • • Midtown Midrash: Facilitated by Rabbi Neal Rose, the class focuses on revitalizing our personal prayer life through exploration of our liturgy. The class from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays is located on the fifth floor of the Enterprise Bank & Trust; feel free to use the parking garage beneath the building to park. Snacks will be available. RSVP at http://bit.ly/BA-class5.
  • B’nai Amoona Hebrew classes: Several Hebrew language courses, from beginner to advanced, are offered Sunday mornings and afternoons, Monday afternoons and evenings and evenings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. See the full list at: stljewishlight.com/bnai-amoona-classes.

Saturday morning Bible study at TI: Saturday Morning Bible Study with Rabbi Emeritus Mark L. Shook begins at 9:15 with a continental breakfast, followed by bible study from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday mornings at Temple Israel, running through April 25, 2020. This week’s topic focuses on the study of the 12 prophetic books known as the Minor Prophets, beginning with Hosea and concluding with Malachi. No previous bible study experience is necessary.  Participants are asked to bring their own Bibles. For questions or more information, contact Shook at mshook@ti-stl.org or 314-432-8050. 

Local Jewish organizations and congregations can submit calendar items and news releases to news@thejewishlight.com.


ADDRESSES

Jewish institutions: Aish Firehouse: 457 N. Woods Mill Road • Bais Abraham Congregation: 6910 Delmar Blvd.• Congregation B’nai Amoona: 324 S. Mason Road • Congregation Shaare Emeth: 11645 Ladue Road • Congregation Temple Israel: 1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Drive • Covenant Place II Cahn Family Building: 8 Millstone Campus Drive • Crown Center: 8350 Delcrest Drive • Kaplan Feldman Complex: 12 Millstone Campus Drive • Kol Rinah:  829 N. Hanley Road • MaTovu: 4200 Blaine Ave. • Neve Shalom: 6 Millstone Campus Drive, Suite 3050 • Nusach Hari B’nai Zion: 650 N. Price Road  • Temple Emanuel: 12166 Conway Rd. in Creve Coeur • United Hebrew Congregation: 13788 Conway Road • Young Israel of St. Louis: 8101 Delmar Blvd.